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Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Model S & Nissan LEAF Lead Global EV Sales

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Despite a slow start to the year, Tesla can become the world’s largest plug-in automaker this year

Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S and Nissan Leaf, two of the most popular electric vehicles in the world, continue leading the global electric vehicle (EV) sales. During the first four months of the year, the global plug-in vehicles sales surpassed 182,000 units with 50,000 sales units in April alone, according to data compiled by EV Sales Blog.

With 19,428 sales over the time period, Nissan LEAF is the top selling plug-in vehicle for this year. While its new 30 kilo-watt hours (kWh) battery version has bumped up sales across the globe, the vehicle continues underperforming on American soil.

Tesla’s Model S, which was the best-selling luxury sedan in the US and the best-selling luxury car in Western European during 2015, continues its strong performance with 14,508 deliveries during the first four months of the year.

Thanks to strong government incentives, BYD Tang took the third spot with more than 12,300 sales and outperformed Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Renaults ZOE, which is only available in Europe, put on a good show and sold 7,875 units during the period. Other world’s top-10 selling plug-in vehicles from January to April include: BAIC E-Series EV, JAC i EV, Chevrolet Volt, BMW i3, and BYD e6.

In the list of top-10 plug-in automakers, BYD continued to be the largest player in the market with wide range of plug-ins for the Chinese market. The Shenzhen-based carmaker delivered more than 24,000 units during the first four month. As the Chinese industry for battery-powered vehicles grows, local players continue to take advantage and rapidly increase their sales.

With the worldwide presence of the LEAF, coupled with e-NV200 Nissan was the second largest automaker with about 20,500 units. Tesla took the third spot with 18,000 worldwide deliveries of its Model S and Model X. Other automobile companies include Mitsubishi, BMW, Volkswagen, Renault, BAIC, Chevrolet, and JAC.

EV Sales Blog doesn’t have complete data of the sales numbers for the month of May. Though, Tesla leads the American plug-in market with 12,655 estimated sales of both of its premium cars, the Model S (7,805 units) and Model X (4,850). The automaker has had a slow start to the year with just 15,000 deliveries during the first quarter and expectations to deliver about 17,000 during this quarter.

With improving production rate and alleviating Model X issues, Tesla will be looking to deliver more than 50,000 cars around the globe during the second half of 2016. Looking at the sales trends of other carmakers for the initial months, it looks like if the company successfully achieves full-year target of 80,000-90,000 deliveries, it will likely be the biggest EV maker in the world by the end of this year.

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